tv The Situation Room CNN December 21, 2012 1:00pm-4:00pm PST
townhouse in ft. myers, florida. so this guy is a career criminal, a laundry list of charges, but investigators really want to ask him about a murder earlier this year along with drug and violent assault cases. let me just run through here some of what police found. two handguns, $15,000 in cash, a pair of binoculars, and a wig. can clearly this man had planned to stay on the run for quite a long time. he was number 15 on the u.s. marshals fugitive list. and before we go, let's pop up the big board. i can take a look at the dow with you as we're hearing from folks on capitol hill. it sounds like we very well may be going over the fiscal cliff. the markets responding just a bit to that. dow down 117 points as we are seconds away from the "closing bell." much more on that with wolf blitze blitzer. >> "the situation room" begins right now. >> brooke, thank you very much.
a dell luge of criticism after calling forearmed guards at every single school in the united states. >> the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. >> this hour, we get reaction from the head of the democratic party, the florida congresswoman, debbie wasserman schultz. also, house republicans in disarray. john boehner heads home with no deal on the fiscal cliff and not enough support for his own so-called plan b. but now what? i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." we begin with the national rifle associations defiant restriction in the wake of the newtown,
connecticut, shootings. instead, the nra is calling forearmed security guards at every school, every school in the country. cnn's tom foreman is joining us now. you were at that speech that wayne lap ichlt erre gave announcing the reaction of what happened a week ago today. tell our viewers how it went. >> well, as you know, they kept a very low profile but today they came out to say they had some things to say and they sure did. despite protesters, the president and public opinion increasingly pushing against the gun lobby, the national rifle association sent a sharp message to wayne la pierre. no retreat. >> the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. i call on congress today to act immediately to appropriate whatever is necessary to put
armed police officers in every single school in this nation. >> in a wide-ranging statement, lapierre condemned the shootings in connecticut and other places but accused congress of relying on armed guards in congress while calling other actions inappropriate elsewhere. >> yet, when it comes to our most beloved, innocent, and vulnerable members of the american family, our children, we as a society leave them every day utterly defenseless. >> while promoting a plan to train volunteers as a part of what the nra calls a national shield safety program, he restricting guns around schools. >> and in doing so, they tell
every insane killer in america that schools are the safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk. >> he has blood on his hands. >> despite being disrupted twice, making killers famous in the news and glorifying them in movies and video games. >> a child growing up in america today witnesses 16,000 murders and 200,000 acts of violence by the time he or she reach the ripe old age of 18. and does anybody really believe that the next adam lanza isn't planning his attack on a school he's already identified at this very moment? >> almost certainly part of this muscle flex was to remind congress members who might be tempted to join calls for gun
reform that the nra has enormous influence, not just nationally but also in state and local races. >> the national polls can show an overwhelming majority of people in favor of certain gun control measures but republicans know the turnout is small in their primaries and the nra members will be there and may very well take it out on them if they vote in favor of gun control. >> the bottom line of the nra statement was just that, that they are not backing down a bit from their basic decision which they defended for a very long time and expect lawmakers to stand by the both democratic and republicans because they know so many of them may have to run in districts whereas long as they don't say anything about gun control, they are safe but if they speak out about it, they may pay a political price. >> did he open up about assault-type weapons, for example, or the high-kpaps tea
ammunition clips? >> not a word. >> what about background checks at gun shows? >> the idea that there should be a national registry of people with mental illness. no, there was not one word of additional legislation that would restrict guns or gun owners at anyplace and none of the people who were there for the nra, no matter how we all try to get them to answer any question would answer a single question. they say they will answer questions next week but they would not -- >> that was a little strange. >> even though many of us said, are you opened to any discussions about those issues over and over again they simply walked by and would not answer. >> he wants armed guards at every school in the united states. but there was a mass killing at a movie theater in aurora, colorado. does he want armed guards at every movie theater? >> all he talked about were schools, where children have to go. there's still questions about what you define as a school. would a university constitute a school and if they did, would you require a guard at every
university or is he talking about public grade schools and high schools. it sounds like the latter but could you have that many people? could you train them all enough and deploy them? even if you wanted to, that's going to be debated an awful lot. >> a couple of disruptions with that speech he was delivering as well. tom, thanks very much. we're going to have much more to talk about. guns, the nra. in a few minutes we'll get reaction live from the democratic committee, debbie wasserman schultz. she'll be here in "the situation room." she has strong views on these issues. the political chaos up on capitol hill. after last night's stinging rejection by his own party, john boehner has no sole-called plan c for avoiding the fiscal cliff of tax hikes, spending cuts that hit in just 11 days. our senior congressional correspondent dana bash is
joining us from capitol hill with the key question. dana, where do we go from here? >> reporter: well, the speaker insisted that he is not giving up on talks with the president but the reality is that since his plan b blew up, everybody is searching for a plan c that might not include the president and the speaker. but that plan c may include going off the fiscal cliff. the morning after his embarrassing fiscal cliff debacle at the hands of his own gop caucus, the speaker emerged with the understatement of the year. >> it's not the outcome that i wanted. that was the will of the house. >> reporter: rather than hold the vote and lose badly, the speaker abruptly pulled his plan b. john boehner's strategy had been to protect republicans from political blame if everyone's taxes go up january 1st. boehner's republican allies lashed out at colleagues who rebucked their speaker. >> it weakens the entire republican party, the republican
majority. it's the continuing dumbing down of the republican party and we are going to be suing for more and more as a bunch of extremists. >> reporter: what made the speaker sting even worse was his conference hours earlier. >> you stood here earlier and expressed confidence that you were going to pass that bill. >> sure did. >> reporter: what went wrong? >> we have -- listen, there was a perception created that that vote last night was going to increase taxes. >> reporter: that's why democratic sources tell cnn, one emerging end game idea is to avoid the stigma of raising taxes. this scenario, however, would mean going off the cliff at the end of the year. after january 1st, when everyone's taxes go up, the new congress sworn in on january 3rd could vote to cut taxes, a much easier vote to cast for republicans. >> it's time for republicans to work with us to find the middle ground. >> senate democrats are discussing two other scenarios.
a fallback position. do the bare minimum on tax cuts, preserve them for the middle class and extend others on the estate tax or try to go big and pass the deficit reduction plan that the president offered the speaker. the problem with any democratic plans that avert the fiscal cliff is democrats would have to find republicans in the senate and house willing to raise some taxes. >> mary christmas, everyone. >> something the gop speaker learned the hard way is not easy. now, the house is adjourned until the thursday after christmas, next thursday. the senate very shortly will do the same. wolf, that means that congress will have five days before the end of the year, december 31st, to figure out what they are going to do. >> the speaker and almost everyone else are either leaving or they've already left town? >> reporter: that's right. the speaker is gone from the capitol. the rank-and-file, the house,
they are gone. most of them are going to go to senator inouye's funeral on sunday. >> dana, thank you very much for that. the democratic national committee chair debbie wasserman schultz is going to join us. we're going to get her reaction for calls to arm every security guard in the united states at a school. and a possible clue about the mind set of the killer in newtown, connecticut. all waking up. connecting to the global phenomenon we call the internet of everything. ♪ it's going to be amazing. and exciting. and maybe, most remarkably, not that far away. we're going to wake the world up. and watch, with eyes wide, as it gets to work. cisco. tomorrow starts here.
(all) the gulf! it doesn't matter which of our great states folks visit. mississippi, alabama, louisiana or florida, they're gonna love it. shaul, your alabama hospitality is incredible. thanks, karen. love your mississippi outdoors. i vote for your florida beaches, dawn. bill, this louisiana seafood is delicious. we're having such a great year on the gulf, we've decided to put aside our rivalry. now is the perfect time to visit anyone of our states.
the beaches and waters couldn't be more beautiful. take a boat ride, go fishing or just lay in the sun. we've got coastline to explore and wildlife to photograph. and there's world class dining with our world famous seafood. so for a great vacation this year, come to the gulf. its all fabulous but i give florida the edge. right after mississippi. you mean alabama. say louisiana or there's no dessert. this invitation is brought to you by bp and all of us who call the gulf home. there's been no shortage of criticism of the nra's call forearmed security guards in every school of the united states. a new poll shows that the majority of americans like the idea of increasing police presence at our schools and increased spending for mental health care, cutting down on
violence and sale of assault weapons. joining me is debbie wasserman schultz. thank you for coming in. how effective is the gallup poll? how effective would this be at avoiding shootings, 53% said very effective. more funding for mental health, 50%, less gun violence in entertainment, 47%, banning sales of assault weapons, 42%. you heard what wayne lapierre said to do, bring in more armed guards, police officers, if you will, in every school. you have a lot of schools in your district. what do you think? is that a good idea? >> my reaction as i watched the press conference today was that the nra -- i would say that they were tone deaf but it's beyond that. they are just deaf. i mean, they have completely ignored, don't understand, don't
grasp how deeply wounded this nation was over the newtown tragedy, over the tragedies that have collectively built up in our consciousness and across the spectrum of how people feel about gun rights, that all across that spectrum, people in america want us to come together and solve this problem and make sure that we can, in a rational, commonsense way get weapons of war out of the hands of the average every-day person who can come into a school and blow away 26 people. >> wayne lapierre's argument is that if there's a police officer outside, visible police or security presence, armed presence, that potentially could deter killers from going into an elementary school and killing kids. >> we have officers in schools across this country. in fact, during the columbine tragedy, there was an armed officer and he was outgunned. that is -- the solution to making sure that we can avoid
gun violence and make sure that a gunman can't go into a school and mow down a whole bunch of students and teachers is not to put more weaponry into the school. we have school resource officers in florida and their presence is important for a variety of reasons, not just so that there's protection but so that you can make sure that safety in general is kept top of mind. but to say today, for the nra to say -- remember, they built their press conference as a meaningful input to make sure that tragedies like this never happen again. to say that we should arm security guards and put them in school and then blame everybody else except that there are two high-powered guns on our streets is just unacceptable. >> one of your best friends is former congresswoman gabby giffords who was seriously
injured. the president went there and he said this at the time. >> we have to examine all the facts behind this tragedy. we cannot and will not be passive in the face of such violence. we should be willing to challenge old assumptions in order to lessen the prospects of such violence in the future. >> were you disappointed that the shooting of gabby giffords and the others didn't then propel him to do what he is now doing in the aftermath of the killings in connecticut? in other words, begin a process to get some real legislation to deal with violent guns -- with gun control in the united states? >> i think because how deeply rooted the emotions are about the second amendment and the issue of gun rights and gun control that there had to be a moment in time, like the one we
have now, to make sure that across the spectrum on how people feel about this issue that americans are coming to the table and saying, enough is enough. and the president was right to pull together a working group, ask for quick action, we have a house task force led by mike thompson, a supporter of the second amendment. we're going to come together and quickly build consensus on how to address this issue. >> but you know the criticism from a lot of gun control advocates, you should have done it then, after aurora, after tucson, there were other incidents that propelled him to do what he is doing now? >> you know, i think it is important to take advantage of a moment in time so that you have the best chance of making sure we have a real and deep impact on this. getting these weapons of war off the streets, not so readily available, wolf, in my home state, you can go online, find a gun that you want, a high-powered weapon, arrange to meet somebody in the parking lot
of a shopping center, buy the gun out of the trunk of their car, walk away, no questions asked, no background check. >> there's a significant republican majority and plenty of democrats who don't want any tighter gun restrictions as well. realistically, can any significant legislation be enacted any time soon? >> we have to try. we have to come together and build consensus across the country about different measures that need to be taken. some of it is going to make sure that we get weapons that no one needs for any lawful purpose off the streets. some of it is going to make sure that people who belong in that database, whether they have been adjudicated, committed a crime or are a felon, aren't in a situation where they can buy a gun, that they are in that database. making sure that we educate people. there's a whole spectrum of things that we need to look at, including that -- i know that my
husband and i never allowed our kids to play with toy weapons for a reason and, you know, those violent video games, although i am a strong supporter of the first amendment, you do need to make sure that we have a reasonable approach to who and how young people can access those violent video games. >> you and wayne lapierre may be on the same page when it comes to -- >> i don't think we're on the same page. he blamed it on everything but that. >> congresswoman, thank you. >> thank you. today president obama announced his choice for secretary of state. we're taking a closer look at what john kerry will face when he secedes hillary clinton as secretary of state. i always wait until the last minute.
can i still ship a gift in time for christmas? yeah, sure you can. great. where's your gift? uh... whew. [ male announcer ] break from the holiday stress. ship fedex express by december 22nd for christmas delivery. by december 22nd oh,this is jucier than i thought. we actully keep track of how many times this kid picked his nose? tongue's out, hair pulls, stink eyes, man we see eveything.
w. all right. this just coming into "the situation room." the president of the united states is getting ready to make a statement. let's bring in our chief white house correspondent jessica yellen. tell us what the white house has just announced, jessica. >> reporter: hi, wolf. the president will be coming in to make a statement about the fiscal cliff. we're not getting any more guidance on what exactly the president will say but i can tell you that one of his advisers, david pluf, held a conference call with the president's top supporters today and told them that this is a time when the nation will be focused more on the fiscal cliff and it's a time to get the word out that the president has done everything he can do and is working hard on a solution and that they want to deliver a message to the american people that the president is working to compromise, that he has done what he can and he wants to help
the middle class. so i believe we can expect the president to try to deliver this message also in the briefing room, trying to say that it's the republicans who have been unwilling to negotiate and the president is trying to reach a deal. clearly it's a messaging opportunity, wolf. >> i know the president and his family were planning on spending time during the holidays in hawaii, his home state. do we know what, if anything, they are doing about that trip? >> reporter: that's not been announced yet, but since the congress is leaving, it would seem -- since the house of representatives, it would follow the president would go to hawaii for a period of time, would be my expectation. he could go sometime in the next few days, and then have christmas with his family, open the gifts in hawaii, and then come back shortly after christmas to try to cobble together a deal quickly before the new year, if that can be done. >> they've got until january 1st to do it. he was in the roosevelt room earlier in the day making a major announcement as well. tell our viewers about that. >> reporter: that's right. he used this opportunity to get one cabinet announcement under
his belt. but he waited long enough to let -- it took long enough that susan rice first dropped out under pressure. that left john kerry as the last one standing and it's clear here at the white house the president and his aides expect kerry's confirmation to go very smoothly. you can even see and feel that in the way the president announced john kerry has his choice to be secretary of state. listen. >> over these many years, john's earned the respect and confidence of leaders around the world. he is not going to need a lot of on-the-job training. he has earned the respect and trust of his senate colleagues, democrats and republicans. i think it's fair to say that few individuals know as many president and prime ministers or grasp our foreign policies as firmly as john kerry. and this makes him a perfect choice to guide american
diplomacy in the years ahead. >> reporter: wolf, with his 30 years in washington and kerry's comfort with the ways of the senate, john kerry might not be a natural partner for the president but the two men have come to respect one another, especially when the president has dispatched him to work on issues in pakistan and afghanistan and sudan. but especially as they joufted with each other during debate prep for many hours in the nevada desert and at camp david, wolf. >> stand by after you hear from the president, right at the top of the hour, 5:00 p.m. eastern, he'll be in the white house briefing room to make a statement on the fiscal cliff. you'll be there as well. thank you, jessica. john kerry's nomination taps what has been a tumultuous time for the white house to find a secretary of state. a look now at the senior senator from massachusetts. >> reporter: many regarded as the worst-kept secret in
washington, even in recent senate hearings, john kerry already sounded like he was looking ahead to his future job and the anticipated budget problems with congress. >> that must change. and in the next session of the congress, i hope it will. >> reporter: he wasn't the president's first choice. u.n. ambassador susan rice took herself out of the running. >> it was unjustified to give the scenario as presented by ambassador rice. >> reporter: senator kerry knows himself about being torpedoed by attacks. he was accused of lying about his military record in vietnam and criticized for his 1971 testimony of opposing the vietnam war. >> how do you ask a man to be the last man to die in vietnam? >> reporter: kerry was pointed a
flip-flopper, unable to grasp the struggles of regular americans but candidate kerry did put president obama, then an unknown politician, on the stage of the democratic national convention. >> john kerry believes that in a dangerous world, war must be an option sometimes but it should never be the first option. >> reporter: following the loss, kerry immersed himself in foreign policy. now the chairman of the senate foreign relations committee, he's been an unofficial envoy for president obama, helping ease tension with president karzai in afghanistan and helped mend relations in pakistan after the killing of osama bin laden. but kerry's not totally in sync with obama. over his 30-year career, kerry
has built deep relationships with many foreign leaders. >> there are very few people in our country with greater experience over a longer period of time than senator kerry. >> perhaps his biggest challenge is not his nomination on capitol hill but rather following in hillary clinton's footsteps, who has become one of the most popular officials in the obama cabinet both abroad and here. remember, we're standing by to hear from the president of the united states at the top of the hour. he'll go into the white house briefing room to make a statement on where the fiscal cliff negotiations stand right now. stand by for that live coverage coming up here in "the situation room." the nra says the answer to guns in schools is more guns. >> since when did the gun automatically become a bad word? >> there's a lot of reaction to what wayne la pea area said and
our strategy session is next. 315 horsepower. what's that in reindeer-power? [ laughs ] [ pencil scratches ] [ male announcer ] chevy's giving more. get the best offer of the year -- 0% apr financing for 60 months plus $1,000 holiday bonus cash. plus trade up for an additional $1,000 trade-in allowance. hurry. bonus cash ends january 2nd. share "not even close." share "you owe me..." share "just right." the share everything plan. shareable data across 10 devices with unlimited talk and text. hurry in for a droid razr m by motorola for $49.99.
[ male announcer ] jill and her mouth have lived a great life. but she has some dental issues she's not happy about. so i introduced jill to crest pro-health for life. selected for people over 50. pro-health for life is a toothpaste that defends against tender, inflamed gums, sensitivity and weak enamel.
conditions people over 50 experience. crest pro-health for life. so jill can keep living the good life. crest. life opens up when you do. so jill can keep living the good life. try running four.ning a restaurant is hard, fortunately we've got ink. it gives us 5x the rewards on our internet, phone charges and cable, plus at office supply stores. rewards we put right back into our business. this is the only thing we've ever wanted to do and ink helps us do it. make your mark with ink from chase.
snoof a picture of the white house, you can see the flag flying at half staff. the president is getting ready to go into the briefing room. we'll have live coverage at the top of the hour. he's going to make a statement of where we're all going because of the fiscal cliff negotiations. they seem to have collapsed. stand by for that. let's discuss what is going on in our strategy session. joining us, our cnn political contributor, democratic strategist, hilary rosen and the editor and chief of redstate.com, erick eric son. john boehner is deeply disappointed about his plan b that he tried to get his representatives to approve last night collapsed without a vote.
here's what he said. >> while we may have not been able to get the votes last night to avert 99.81% of the tax increases, i don't think -- they weren't taking that out on me. they were dealing with a perception that somebody might accuse them of raising taxes. >> and you wrote this on redstate.com. you said, the democrats are going to construct a deal that the gop cannot except because the democrats know that the they are going to get the blame. the gop will not do. here's the question. are republicans in the house of representatives specifically, not necessarily in the senate, are they unrealistic as to what is doable to avert the fiscal cliff? >> no, i don't think they are unrealistic as to what is doable or not, wolf. they just didn't like the way that john boehner was going
about debaiting with the president. john boehner hasn't really kept his words to conservatives. in the primary season, i spoke to two members of congress who are very much aware that eric cantor and john boehner removed key conservatives from committees. i think it was more about john boehner than the tax plan. it was john boehner. >> you think that democrats, hilary, ought to be more open-minded about making sure that 99.81% of the american people don't see a tax rate increase january 1st should they go along with boehner's proposal that people earning less than a million dollars a year won't see a tax hike? >> yeah. you're talking about where the president had said he wanted tax hikes for people above 250 and 400,000 -- speaker boehner wants
to say a million. look, i think that democrats are actually open-minded to where those numbers fall down. i think the president in particular has expressed a lot of flexibility on that score. the real issue is, how do you get to the overall savings and i think what democrats don't want -- and i don't think the president does either -- is to say, you know what, we're going to protect the top 4 or 5% of the country's tax cuts but we're going to take it out of medicare and social security for the poor and middle class. and that's, i think, the real issue. you know, i think a lot of other progress sifs like me would like to see defense cuts much more significantly on the table. there are other places to get money. but i do think that at some level boehner and the president and now harry reid and mitch mcconnell who are very much at the table are going to have to say, you know what, we're not going to win the right of our parties, we're not going to win the left, we've got to do
something that gets 118 democratic votes and 100 republican votes in the house and we've got to get those middle in the senate, too. that's really the only way. >> easier said than done. quickly, erick do you think the country is going to go over the fiscal cliff, everyone's tax rates are going up? >> you know, i think it wouldn't surprise me if they did and ironically because of the shifting baselines, both sides can claim some sort of better level of wanting to cut taxes on everyone and i just -- i'm more inclined to think we're going to go over the fiscal cliff and argue over adjusted baselines which no one in america will understand. but washington will have a field day over it. >> are we going over the cliff? >> i don't think so. i think the they want to blame republicans somehow is wrong. i think the president very much wants a deal and will go far to get one. >> hilary and erick, thanks
my name is hunter cannon. playing sports is just my whole life. looking back, if it wasn't for shriners hospital, things would just be really, really different. i lost my leg when i was a kid. there was a time when i felt like i wasn't going to be able to walk again... it was a pretty bad accident but shriners showed me who i could be again. they turned my whole life around. they call it 'love to the rescue' and it really works.
it's a neurodevelopmental disorder, not a mental illness. that's important. it's something you're born with and it does tend to run in families. a little bit of history. the description was first described by dr. as per ger in 1984. he made this key observation. peep with asperger's, mainly children, are sially isolated, have problems with communication, there's something off in their interactions with other people. they can miss social cues. take this example. if someone walks over and says, hello, most of us naturally say hello right back. a child with asperger's, that doesn't come as distinct tifl. they lack social intuition. they tend to become extremely focused. they are obsessed with details. one example, temple, she has asperger's and she's written six books. she's a top expert in designing facility for livestock. children with asperger's don't have language problems. their speech often develops
normally. also, by definition, they have average to high intelligence and seems to be common in the tech world, at least more common. not to mention, actress darryl hanna. and author tim page. he won a pulitzer prize. there's a common misperception that people are asperger's lack sympathy. this is not necessarily true. they are bad at recognizing emotions in other people. but research and experience show this, they do relate to those emotions. in fact, be it can be extremely intense, almost like they feel too much for people, even animals. temple became famous for developing humane live stock pens. she could put herself in their place, could feel their pain. it's not associated with violence like the connecticut school shootings. people with asperger's can be ee fally frustrated and prone to
tantrums but zero evidence that they would like to harm others. they are much more likely to be targeted to be bullied themselves. asperger's will not exist anymore. it's just part of autism disorder. we don't really understand what's different in the wiring in the brain of someone with these conditions but i hope some day we can unlock those secrets and i hope it can help a lot of people out there. i'm dr. sanjay gupta, cnn, reporting. president obama's deeply personal tribute to the man he says inspired him to go into public service. [ female announcer ] what if the next big thing, isn't a thing at all?
it's lots of things. all waking up. connecting to the global phenomenon we call the internet of everything. ♪ it's going to be amazing. and exciting. and maybe, most remarkably, not that far away. we're going to wake the world up. and watch, with eyes wide, as it gets to work. cisco. tomorrow starts here.
cisco. meet the 5-passenger ford c-max hybrid. when you're carrying a lot of weight, c-max has a nice little trait, you see, c-max helps you load your freight, with its foot-activated lift gate. but that's not all you'll see, cause c-max also beats prius v, with better mpg. say hi to the all-new 47 combined mpg c-max hybrid.
at the top of the hour. lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, meanwhile, paid tribute to the late hawaii senator inouye. lisa sylvester has the latest. >> wolf, president obama gave the eulogy and called inouye his earliest for his career service. >> we remember a man who inspired all of us with his courage and moved us with his compassion, that inspired us with his integrity and who taught so many of us, including a young boy growing up in hawaii that america has a place for everyone. >> inouye was the second longest serving senator. he was 88 years old.
his body will be returned to his home state of hawaii tomorrow. his funeral is set for sunday. and a law banning americans from adopting russian children warranted parliamentary approval. it's seen as retaliation for a u.s. law punishing human rights abusers in russia. it faces another vote before it can be signed into law. russia is one of the top sources for international adoptions over a 12-year period, more than 45,000 u.s. adoptions came from russia. and on this first day of winter, a powerful winter storm and one of the busiest travel days of the year. it's adding up to be a big headache for those trying to get out of town for the holiday. this storm that hammered the midwest, it's now on the move and cnn meteorologist's alexandra steele, how bad could it get? >> it's been rough and it's
getting rough tonight. here's what is happening with the delays, predominantly in new york, laguardia, jfk. boston as well. laguardia to newark to boston. san francisco has had four-hour delays. now 3 1/2 hours and it is weather-related there, too. ft. lauderdale is having a volume issue. this is the exiting storm, this rain that is leaving. skies are drying out but temperatures will drop precipitously. this is where the travel will really get tough. rochester, buffalo, six to 12 inches of knsnow coming for the. washington, baltimore, clears out for tomorrow and sunday. although it will still be windy. there's the heavy snow in western new york. driving i-90 through the weekend is really difficult. as we head towards sunday, this is the biggest travel headache from seattle all the way down to san francisco.
northern california does some very heavy rain and wind for the next couple of days. lisa? >> sounds like everyone is going to have to really be patient as they try to get home for the holidays. >> yes. >> alexandra, thanks. it's not going to be easy but we'll see, hopefully it won't be too much of a travel headache. >> patience is important. lisa, thank you. the president is in the briefing room momentarily. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] everyone deserves the gift of all day pain relief. this season, discover aleve. all day pain relief with just two pills.
shooting occurred. people paused to honor the 20 children and six adults that were gunned down. cards have been pouring in from children all over the world as well. >> wolf, it's letters from children, from their parents, from all around the u.s., the world. there are a lot of heavy hearts in newtown, a lot of sadness with this entire story. but something sells coming out of all of this. that he is that there is still a lot of goodness in the world that is now being directed at that town in connecticut. >> that's a perfect b. >> 4-year-old caylin works hard to get each word right. >> start here. >> she's writing a letter. >> dear parents, i know that you are upset -- >> a letter to the parents of the children killed in the newtown shooting. she and her mother live in maryland. they have never been to newtown. in fact, they have never been to the state of connecticut but they wanted to show the town that they care. >> we're writing letters just to
let them know that our hearts are with them, that they are in our prayers. >> because i want to make shem cheer up. >> right away we started seeing mail going and coming in that began with a few hundred and now it's thousands per day we are receiving. >> you want to start? >> in the middle of all of the sorrow, the sadness, and the heartbreak is something else. compassion. letters, cards, and books pouring into newtown. >> i don't know if they feel like strangers. i think they feel very connected to the tragedy here but they are coming in from as far away as england, sicily, and every corner of this country. while they may not have personal knowledge, they certainly feel their pain. >> caylin only knows what her mother told her, that a bad guy hurt children. >> dear parents, i know that you
are upset but your children now fine in heaven. love caylan. >> with her letter, she is sending two pictures, her vision of a rainbow. >> and they have received so many letter, they have now set up a special post office box, that is messages of con toll lenses for newtown, p.o. borks 3700, newtown, connecticut, 06470. that is a special post office box set up for letters of condolences. send all of your love and prayers. they don't want perishable goods. it's a heartwarming story to see that little 4-year-old girl writing the letter. she doesn't even know where newtown is on the map but yet she felt so compelled to do this beautiful thing, wolf. >> heart moving.
heartwrenching, i should say that. lisa, thank you. and you're in "the situation room." happening now, president obama about to make a statement on the fiscal cliff negotiations. we're going to bring it to you live as soon as it happens. and newtown responding to the nra's controversial call for armed guards in every school. we're going there live. emotions very, very high. >> one parent who made her cry with laughter. we're remembering newtown's young victims and we're keeping their memories alive. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." looking at pictures of the white house right now as it gets
dark here in washington, d.c., we were just alerted the president of the united states will be in the briefing room momentarily. you can see reporters already standing. they are getting ready to hear from the president. he's about to deliver a statement about where the so-called fiscal cliff negotiations stand right now. we'll, of cower, have live coverage. let's bring in our chief white house correspondent jessica yellen. set the scene for us. this is a sensitive situation. so much is at stake for almost every american. >> that's right, wolf. it's just days before we hit the fiscal cliff where taxes for all americans go up and spending cuts -- astronomical spending cuts kick in. it's also a time when already members of the house of representatives have left town. so time is running out for a deal to be reached and i can report right now, as dana bash has already broken, that the president is in a meeting, has been meeting with senate majority leader harry reid. that's the top democrat in the
senate. and peck cue jar that the two would be meeting because you would think that he would need to sit down with republicans. but now that speaker boehner has not been able to get his members on board a deal, the president is now faced with cutting a deal with democrats and he'll have to figure out a way to get this done with senator harry reid push something through the senate after christmas probably, and then turn around and try to push that through the house of representatives. so it's running a little late but when he does come in here, maybe he'll have something to report out of that meeting and tell us if they've made any progress on that front, wolf. i also expect that he will make an appeal to the american public and probably say something we've heard them talking about, that they have gone more than halfway, that the republicans need to take on their own base, that the republicans need to meet them part way and it will be a messaging opportunity for the president to argue that it will not be on the president's head, they will try to say, if
the nation goes over the cliff. well will see. it will also be interesting to see if he'll acknowledge the nra's statements today and talk about gun vie len at all as he's done for the past few days. >> are we expecting him to answer reporters' questions, jessica? >> reporter: i haven't gotten an indication that he will but we he will of course try to get him to. >> you go into the briefing room, i've said this often, you're the president of the united states, you would expect reporters to ask you questions. plenty of other rooms in the white house. but if you go into the press media room, you should answer reporters' questions. that's just me. former white house correspondent. let's go to capitol hill. dana bash is standing by. dana, this has been a pretty bad week for house of representatives, john boehner. >> reporter: not a great week, that is for sure. and it was really a stunner what happened to him last night, the fact that he was so far away
from getting votes from his own republican caucus that he didn't even bother to put this plan b for the fiscal cliff on the floor after he spent 48 hours making the case that not only could he pass it but it was politically the right thing for republicans to do to prove the to the american people that republicans don't want american's taxes to go up, particularly those making up to $1 million. but on the meeting that jessica just talked about, i was told that harry reid, the democratic senator majority leader is meeting one on one with the president. jessica was alluding to this. the speaker, given what happened last night, is that it will be very difficult for him to get republican votes right now for any kind of effective tax increase. the ball is in the senate's court. republican ares say that but it happens to be true. democrats around the senate know that very well. they are clearly discussing a way forward and as we talked
about in the last hour, one leading contender, if you will, for the way forward might be to go off the cliff. to go off the cliff, have everybod everybody's taxes go up, two days after the fiscal cliff happens and have a piece of legislation that will do the opposite of what they are trying to do now, which is cut people's taxes, which is much more politically p politically paltable palitable. >> when he couldn't even have a roll call because he didn't have the votes. >> while we may have not been able to get the votes last night to avert 99.81% of the tax increases, i don't think -- they
weren't taking that out on me. >> dana, a lot of republicans who refused to vote in favor of what boehner and eric cantor really wanted, by refusing to vote in favor of that, they are about to see a huge tax increase, maybe the biggest tax increase in u.s. history for 99.81% of the american people who pay federal income tax because all of the tax rates are going to go up january 1st if legislation isn't passed. why isn't that seen as a violation of their no new taxes pledge? >> it's such a great question. what you are seeing is a group of politicians standing on principle and what they want is
being forfeited because of their principle. and that really is the argument that the speaker made to his rank-and-file republicans. listen, guy, i'm trying to save you from yourselves here. he understands that politically, for that reason, even when it comes to the process, republicans will very likely get the blame if everybody's taxes go up. so that's why the speaker was trying to push this. but it just comes down to the fact that there are a lot of rank-and-file republicans who feel that they were elected to do one thing, which is cut spending and not raise taxes. so it's one thing, from their perspective to, allow tacks to go up. it's another thing to actively vote for tax increases. they insist it's a distinction with a difference, which is why we may be headed to the fiscal cliff to sort of change the process and prospects of these votes which would make a really big difference politically rather than voting to cut taxes.
>> dana, the president had for a long time said no new tax rates for those making under $250,000 a year. he went up recently to $400,000 a year. boehner's position was a million dollars a year. is it reasonable to think that maybe between 400,000 and a million, maybe there's some compromise in the works, 600,000, 700,000 that both sides could live with? >> reporter: more wiggle room but not a lot. their feeling, the democrat's feeling is that they have given a lot, that they have compromised, and that frankly they have leverage and that republicans have to give more. so -- and as you know, wolf, a lot of the democrats, i'm sorry, believe that they have the political advantage if the nation does go over the cliff, americans will end up blaming
the republicans. now, we could argue -- look at that and say, in the short term that may be the case. when the history books are written, it might be the president who's blamed in the long term, who knows. but that's the argument for the short term and that's the calculus being made. so a little bit of wriggle room on more cuts by democrats and a different -- somebody put something on the podium so i think we might be getting close to the president coming in. >> have they given us the two-minute warning? >> they have not but we are seven minute after the appointed time to speak. so we are well passed the two minutes. they indicated there is more wriggle room, not a lot. and they think they have the upper hand when it comes to political leverage and public perception, wolf. >> i'm going to play a clip while we await the president of
the united states. here's what he said the other day about his willingness to compromise on these very sensitive issues. >> this is not a situation where i'm unwilling to compromise. this is not a situation where aim trying to rub their face in anything. i think anybody who looks at this objectively would say that coming off my election i have met them at least halfway. >> so the bottom line right now, as we await the president, he's going to tell us where these negotiations stand and make a statement and, jessica, do we expect -- i asked you this earlier. i don't know if you got any more information. i know he and his family were hoping to spend christmas and new year's at his home state of hawaii. that may be put on hold. maybe the first lady and lawyers will go out there and the president will join them? >> let's see what is announced
here. i wouldn't be surprised if he's able to go out there and open up gifts, have a sort of celebration with his family in hawaii and then come back and wrap up this -- try to wrap up some sort of a deal, if it's possible, after christmas is done. but we'll wait and see what they announce about the details of his travel, if he acknowledges that when he speaks, wolf. it does look like maybe those of us who live in washington and cover this will have a quiet christmas but a busy new year's eve. i'm not so confident that we will be resting on the days leading up to new year's -- new year's day and new year's eve itself. it could be very busy. >> it could be busy indeed. dana bash is still with us. i take it the house and senate have recessed until next thursday. is that right? >> reporter: the house is gone until next thursday. the senate is on its way, if not already gone they were wrapping up a final vote just before i
came on with you. but one thing that i think is interesting to point out is that the big reason why the speaker had such a bomb with his plan b last night is because democrat in the house held the line. they all agreed that they would not vote for it. he was relying solely on republicans votes that he simply couldn't get. what you're looking at in the future, if there is any kind of bipartisan plan or any hope to put any kind of package, small or large, through the house and the senate, it is going to very likely be with the majority democratic votes picking off enough republicans in the house and senate and enough republicans in the house. but what i was tolderier today that harry reid, who is meeting with the president, the democratic majority leader has made it clear that he's not willing to force his democratic senators to take a vote that's not going to pass in the house. whatever they agree to do, ffl
before the fiscal cliff deadline, he wants to make sure that all of the votes are lined up to make sure that it goes through because he saw what happened last night with the speaker. another reason they didn't want to take that vote is because it wouldn't have gone anywhere. it would have been a difficult vote to take for not a lot of giveback. >> dana, i want you to listen to what the president said the other day. he seemed to be subjects that there's so much dislike about him, it doesn't matter how far he goes in making a proposal. they are going to reject it because it simply has his name on it. listen to this. >> they keep on finding ways to say no as opposed to finding ways to say yes. and i don't know how much of that just has to do with, you know, it it is very hard for them to say yes to me. but, you know, at some point, you know, they've got to take me
out of it. and think about their voters. and think about what's best for the country. >> so, dana, how much of this is the dislike, the anger towards the president coming from a lot of these republican lawmakers in the house? >> some of it might be. i asked a number of republican house members about those comments, and the underlying dislike for im, i don't think it's so much it. it's the underlying, very deep philosophical divide and that really is what it comes down to it, certainly politics are involved and on this big issue, i talked to several of them, they feel like this is their moment to achieve philosophically and government spending with regard to taxes and keeping taxes and this is
the moment and give that up and ardent supporters and the principle when it comes to votes. >> jessica yellin is there. the republican leader in the senate, jessica, mitch mcconnell, made it clear that it's up to the president now to come up with a new plan. listen to this. >> this isn't john boehner's problem to solve. he's done his part. he's bent over backwards. i've said it many times before,
we simply cannot solve the problems we face unless and until the president of the united states either finds the will or develops the ability, the ability to leave. this is a moment that calls for presidential leadership. that's the way out of this. it's that simple. >> a lot of people have made the point, jessica, that if there is a collapse of these negotiations, taxes go up for everyone. maybe they will blame republicans in the short term but term he needs to show what mcconnell says is more leadership to get everyone together. what did they say at the white house about that argument? >> there is a human dynamic to all of this, wolf, as you point out. the republicans when i talked to them not just in public but behind the scenes, they are very frustrated that president obama doesn't know what to offer them to give them the cover they need to get the most conservative element of their base on board a
deal to get this over the finish line. at the white house, when i bring that up, they sort of shrug their shoulders, roll their eyes and laugh at me. when they put out a very -- what they view as a compromise during the debt of 2011, they were ridiculed and mocked because it was considered a final offer first and republicans rejected that and then they had nowhere to go. so now the president is taking essentially a more aggressive posture and he's criticized for that. so, you know, they feel, in essence, democrats broadly feel that the failure of plan b is evidence that he cannot wran gel his conference and it's on speaker boehner's side. the bottom line is, there's a lot of finger pointing when it comes to leading and who is failing to lead and there's a
lot of bitterness and maybe bitteren is the wrong word but a lot of frustration on both sides that there's not a partner to deal with on the other end. a partner who can actually get the deal done. and so this human dynamic is sort of fascinating. the bottom line of what really matters to americans is that this is a washington-generated problem. the fiscal cliff was created by congress and by the tax plan that george bush passed and then by the last year sequester and it didn't have to exist and now congress and washington cannot solve it. so they can't wind themselves out of their own pretzel. >> jessica, still no two-minute warning? >> no two-minute warning. i keep asking what's going on, what's the holdup. i'm sure we'll find out soon.
all right. you're looking at live pictures from the white house at the briefing room at the white house. the president of the united states is going to be going in there, we're told fairly soon to make a statement on the so-called fiscal cliff negotiations, where the situation stands. not much time for a deal to be reached before the end of the year. otherwise, almost everyone who pays federal income taxes will go up to the levels in place during the clinton administration. the bush tax cuts that were imposed -- that were implemented in 2001, 2003 will disappear for everyone if there's no deal. also, there will be significant cuts, spending cuts across the board in domestic programs as well as the national security and defense programs. so the president's about to tell us where these negotiations stand and we'll go there live as
soon as he walks into the white house briefing room. but there's other news we can follow in the meantime while we wait for the president. the most powerful gun rights organization in the united states is plunging into the gun control debate with a vengeance. >> why is the idea of a gun good when it's used to protect the president of our country or our police but bad when it's used to protect our children in our schools? >> the national rifle association daring to challenge those blaming gun rights for last week's massacre in newtown, connecticut. the executive vice president, wayne lapierre, did not let angry protesters stop him from calling forearmed security personn personnel in every school in the country. poppy harlow is standing by in newtown, connecticut.
casey wian is also joining us. what are folks of newtown saying about the proposal to put armed guards in every school of the country? >> reporter: well, i think there's mixed emotions here, wolf. it's only one one week since the massacre. we followed the nra's statement to talk to people not only in newtown but in the surrounding community about how they feel. the overwhelming sentiment is there's a lot of opposition to what the nra had to say in terms of gun rights in this country. i want you to take a listen to a selection of people that we did talk to. >> i think that's absolutely ridiculous. i'm a retired school teacher. you know, how could someone expect an armed guard, with maybe a pistol, would go up against something like a buch as a matter of factor, which we saw here happen. it's absolutely ridiculous. that's the nra's way of
protecting their situation. >> i am not happy with the nra and i am a gun owner myself. there's just no reason for automatic weapons out there in the public and clips that discharge so many rounds of ammunition. >> i have many guns, but i don't have a third-round clip and a semiautomatic weapon. we have a tragedy here and we have to address it. they are not addressing it. that's what i tell them. they are not addressing the situation here. >> reporter: so you heard that last man say they are not addressing the problem directly. the overwhelming sentiment here was not just about what the n are ra said about putting armed guards and armed people in the schools but it was really about the issue of addressing automatic weapons. and they really want to hear the nra address that directly, wolf, but i think to hear that statement from the nra was very difficult for a lot of people in this community just one week later. >> hard to believe it's been a week now. and i know that the community is still reeling, which is totally
understandable from the tragedy of what happened. poppy, stand by. casey wian is in california. you're hearing both sides of this. gun owners telling you one thing, school officials telling you another thing. what is going on over there where you are? >> well, wolf, as you heard from poppy, the nra proposal has been stirring up controversy all day but not at this gun range which is frequented by former members of law enforcement and the military. olympic shooters train at the los angeles rifle and revolver club. >> i think it's a good idea, but you're going to have to train these people on how to use weapons because once you start shooting inside of a classroom, somebody is going to get hurt. but the thing is to not let the intruder go into the classroom. >> reporter: there is fear that more gun control is inevitable, even though california has some of the strictest laws governing assault weapons in high-capacity
magazines. ed says a better armed public, not more laws is the answer. >> the only way to fight fire is with fire. if you've got somebody that is armed and you are not, you're part of the problem, not the solution. >> this superintendent wants no armed guards on her campus. >> i'm extraordinarily disappointed in their response. the issues are so complicated, the logistics of that are rid deck cue louse. i think kids and guns are a bad mix, period. >> reporter: back at the gun range, one club member agreed with the nra position that violent videos games, not guns are to blame for mass shootings. >> i don't see any discussion going on where people say, what about hollywood? >> reporter: we brought that up today. >> what about the gaming industry? that's a factor.
>> reporter: gun entheusiasts generally agree not to offer more proposals for gun control. and that school board official you heard from, the biggest thing that can contribute to better safety at her schools would be more funding for mental health treatment which has been cut here in california and many other places, wolf. >> casey, thank very much for that report. the debate is going to intensify in the coming days. we're awaiting the president of the united states. he's going to go into the white house briefing room and make a statement on where the fiscal cliff negotiations are right now. you see the podium there. maybe he'll answer some reporters' questions about this nra proposal to put armed police officers in every school in the country. we'll await the president right after this. ♪
[ male announcer ] the way it moves. the way it cleans. everything about the oral-b power brush is simply revolutionary. oral-b power brushes oscillate, rotate and even pulsate to gently loosen and break up that sticky plaque with more brush movements than manual brushes and even up to 50% more than leading sonic technology brushes for a superior clean. oral-b power brushes. go to oralb.com for the latest offers.
we're told the president is getting ready to walk into the white house briefing room momentarily to make a statement on where the fiscal cliff negotiations. we don't know if he will answer reporters' questions and talk about the nra's call for putting armed guards in every public school. >> an american doctor rescued from the taliban in afghanistan is speaking out. lisa sylvester has more. >> dr. philip is thanking those who risked their lives to save
him. he was taken about 50 miles from the and the syrian regime as fired more scud missiles in the last couple of days according to the head of nato who calls it a desperate collapse of regime. this is showing a crater caused by a scud missile. we can't verify the authenticity of this footage. and, well, more bragging rights for cye. "gangnam style" is the most popular video on the billboard and it's watched 76 times per second. can you imagine that, wolf?
76 times per second people are watching that video. >> they like it. all right. we've just been told, lisa, that the president will be walking in within the next two minutes into the white house briefing room. you're seeing reporters standing by getting ready to hear the president. we'll see if he answers reports' questions. this is a delicate moment now on the eve of christmas just before new year's. will there be a deal that will allow everyone to have a sigh of relief as far as tax increases being implemented january 1st and huge spending cuts on domestic programs as well as national security programs as will be implemented, if there is no legislation passed by the house and the senate and signed into law by the president of the united states. jessica yellen is in the briefing room. only a few seconds away. right, jessica? >> yes. he should be out here momentarily, wolf. we will see if he reaches any kind of a deal with senate
majority leader harry reid. if he has hopes for some kind of a deal after christmas, we'll be looking to see if he announces any plans to travel to hawaii and also maybe if he'll comment p on the statements from the nra, their statements today. >> sit down, jessica, because the president is going to be walking in momentarily. i always find it interesting on a late friday afternoon a statement like this is about to be made, a statement being made after the wall street, after the markets are closed in new york and elsewhere. whatever he says about these fiscal cliff negotiations could have a significant impact on wall street, on the markets, on public attitudes, maybe that's one of the reasons why he decided to wait until after 5:00 p.m. here on the east coast so the president will be walking in momentarily. dana bash is up on capitol hill watching what is going on.
it should be -- they said two minutes a while ago. i guess he's still walking in, dana. the markets took a little bit of a hit today after what john boehner failed to achieve last night. here comes the president. never mind. >> good afternoon, everybody. over the last few weeks i've been working with leaders of both parties on a proposal to get our deficit under control, avoid tax cuts, avoid tax hikes on the middle class, and to make sure that we can spur jobs and economic growth. a balanced proposal that cuts spending but also asks the wealthiest americans to pay more, a proposal that will strengthen the middle class over the long haul and grow our economy over the long haul. during the course of these negotiations, i offered to compromise with the republicans in congress. i met them halfway on taxes and i met them more than halfway on spending. and in terms of actual dollar
amounts, we're not that far apart. as of today, i am still ready and willing to get a comprehensive package done. i still believe that reducing our deficit is the right thing to do or for the long-term health of our economy and the health of our businesses. i remain committed working towards that goal, whether it happens at once or in several different steps. but in ten days we face a deadline. in ten days under current law, tax rates are scheduled to rise on most americans. and even though democrat and republicans are arguing about whether those rates should go up for the wealthiest individuals, all of us, every single one of us agrees that tax rates shouldn't go up for the other 98% of americans, which includes small businesses. every member of congress
believes that, every democrat, every republican. so there is absolutely no reason, none, not to protect these americans from a tax hike. at the very least, let's agree right now on what we already agree on. let's get that done. i just spoke to speaker boehner and i also met with senator reid. in the next few days i've asked leaders of congress to work towards a package that prevents a tax hike on middle class americans, protects unemployment insurance for two million americans, and lays the ground work for further work on both growth and deficit reduction. that's an achievable goal. that can get done in ten days. once this legislation is agreed to, i expect democrat and republicans to get back to washington and have it pass both chambers and i will immediately
sign that legislation into law before january 1st of next year. it's that simple. averting this middle class tax hike is not a democratic responsibility or a republican responsibility. with their votes, it's a shared responsibility between both parties. in this congress, laws can only pass with support from democrats and republicans, and that means nobody gets 100% of what they want. everybody's got to give a little bit in a sensible way. we move forward together or we don't move forward at all. so, as we leave town for a few days to be with our families for the holidays, i hope it gives everybody some perspective. everybody can cool off, everybody can drink some egg nog, have some christmas
cookies, sing some chris mall carols, enjoy the company of loved ones, and then i'd ask every member of congress while they are back home to think about that. think about the obligations to the people who sent us here. think about the hardship that so many americans will endure if congress does nothing at all. just as our economy is really starting to recover and we're starting to see optimistic signs and we've seen actually some upside statistics from a whole range of areas, including housing, now is not the time for more self-inflicted wounds. certainly not those coming from washington. and there's so much more work to be done in this country, on jobs and income and education and energy, you are a week away from one of the worst tragedies in
memory. so we've got work to do on gun safety. a host of other issues. these are all challenges that we can meet. they are all challenges that we have to meet if we want our kids to grow up in an america that's full of opportunity, possibility, as much opportunity and possibility as the america that our parent and grand parent left for us. but we're only going to be able to do it together. we're going to have to find some common ground. and the challenge that we've got right now is that the american people are a lot more sensible and a lot more thoughtful and much more willing to compromise and give and sacrifice and act responsibly than their elected representatives are. and that's a problem. there's a mismatch right now between how everybody else is thinking about these problems, democrats and republicans. outside of this town and how folks are operating here.
and we've just got to get that aligned. but we've only gotten days to do it. so i hope that every member of congress is thinking about that. nobody can get 100% of what they want. and this is not simply a contest between parties in terms of who looks good and who doesn't. there are real-world consequences to what we do here and i want next year to be a year of strong economic growth. i want next year to be a year in which more jobs are created and more businesses are started. and we're making progress on all of the challenges that we have out there, some of which, by the way, we don't have as much control over as we have in terms of just shaping a sensible budget. this is something that is within our capacity to solve. it doesn't take that much work. we just have to do the right thing. so call me a hopeless optimist, but i actually still think that
we can get it done. and with that, i want to wish every american a merry christmas and, you know, because we didn't get this done, lee see you next week. all right. thank you. >> all right. so the president made his statement. he made about a seven-minute statement, to be precise, saying that he didn't think the sides were too far apart. he thought they could at least get a stop-gap deal that would allow taxes for the middle class to remain as they are right now. let's go up to capitol hill, dana bash is standing by. i didn't hear anything new from the president right now, dana. this is a proposal he's had out there for quite some time that allows the bush tax rates to continue for everyone making under a certain amount of money.
he iced to say 250,000, raised it a little bit to 400,000. that doesn't look like it's going anywhere, at least for the time being, in the republican majority house. >> reporter: that's right. we laid out in this program, according to sources here, three potential scenarios for going forward. one is going off the fiscal cliff and one is another fallback scenario. what he just laid out was the fallback scenario. what i mean is just to try to get some republican votes on his bottom line when it comes to tax rates and we're just talking about tax rates here. but also adding some tax rate sweeteners. he talked about insurance which is not a sweetener for republicans but maybe adding a state taxes, keeping taxes low on that and a few other things. so what he's saying is he wants to see if the speaker can get enough vote. maybe he can get enough votes from the republican in the senate. as we were talking, i was going back and forth with a democrat who knows where the votes are in congress.
reminding me that it is very unlikely that that is going to happen, that they will get bipartisan agreement on what the president just laid out which is his position on taxes. >> let me go over to jessica yellin at the briefing room. i assume all of the democrats in the house and senate would support it but in the house you need a bunch of republicans to support it as well, moderate republicans. does the president think that boehner will bring along enough republicans to pass this kind of temporary legislation? . >> reporter: wolf, i've talked to republicans in the senate who will be hard to be brought on board because there are concerns about their re-election next year and outside groups, pressure from outside groups as well. i mean, there's no absolute confidence that we will not go over the cliff. that's why you heard the president make what was essentially a political appeal
here, a mess abling appeal to say, look, an appeal for commonsense and an appeal for action. because this is is really now about trying to reach beyond us to the american people. he was talking to the american people, not to the people in washington or in this room and saying this is about -- that a reasonable compromise is within reach and if it doesn't get done, it's only because, in his estimation, is extremism in washington. that's the message that they are trying to put out there, wolf. >> it looks like everybody is going out of town for christmas. the president, i suspect, heading out to hawaii with his family at the same time. all right. stand by. everyone stand by. we'll continue the breaking news cover ranl and update you on what is is going on as far as the national rifle association, their proposal to put armed
personnel in every school. much more right after this. questions? anyone have occasional constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating? yeah. one phillips' colon health probiotic cap each day helps defend against these digestive issues with three strains of good bacteria. approved! [ female announcer ] live the regular life. phillips'. welcome to chevy's year-end event. so, the 5.3-liter v8 silverado can tow up to 9,600 pounds? 315 horsepower. what's that in reindeer-power? [ laughs ] [ pencil scratches ] [ male announcer ] chevy's giving more. get the best offer of the year -- 0% apr financing for 60 months plus $1,000 holiday bonus cash. plus trade up for an additional $1,000 trade-in allowance. hurry. bonus cash ends january 2nd. we believe the more you know, the better you trade.
so we have ongoing webinars and interactive learning, plus, in-branch seminars at over 500 locations, where our dedicated support teams help you know more so your money can do more. [ rodger ] at scottrade, seven dollar trades are just the start. our teams have the information you want when you need it. it's another reason more investors are saying... [ all ] i'm with scottrade. how much is your current phone bill? four sixteen seventy six a month! okay, come with me -- we're gonna save you money. with straight talk at walmart, you get unlimited talk, text and data for only $45 a month per phone. would we get the same coverage? same coverage on america's best networks. you saved $146.76 by switching to straight talk. awesome! now you can afford to share your allowance with me. get the season's hottest smartphones like the samsung galaxy s2 and get straight talk with unlimited data for just $45 a month -- from america's gift headquarters. walmart. ♪
[ bell ringing ] 9:30 a.m. today church bells toll in newtown, connecticut, exactly one week today that so many lives were cut short. it's a scene repeated all across the country at exactly the same time, including here in washington, d.c., at the national cathedral. [ bell ringing ] >> and so it went in many other states. then a somber rendition of "amazing grace."
♪ was blind but now i see oting! make a wish! i wish we could lie here forever. i wish this test drive was over, so we could head back to the dealership. [ male announcer ] it's practically yours. test drive! but we still need your signature. volkswagen sign then drive is back. and it's never been easier to get a jetta. that's the power of german engineering. get $0 down, $0 due at signing, $0 deposit, and $0 first month's payment on any new volkswagen. visit vwdealer.com today.
>> we remember a man who inspired all of us with his courage and moved us with his compassion that inspired us with his integrity and who taught so many of us, including a young boy growing up in hawaii that america has a place for everyone. >> senator inouye was the second longest serving senator in u.s. history. he died monday of respiratory complications. he was 88. his body will be returned to his home state of hawaii tomorrow. his funeral is set for sunday. newtown's tragedy became a sharp loss felt by all americans. just ahead, cnn's own reporters reflect on what it was like to be in newtown in the aftermath of this terrible shooting. it's lots of things. all waking up. ♪
becoming part of the global phenomenon we call the internet of everything. ♪ trees will talk to networks will talk to scientists about climate change. cars will talk to road sensors will talk to stoplights about traffic efficiency. the ambulance will talk to patient records will talk to doctors about saving lives. it's going to be amazing. and exciting. and maybe, most remarkably, not that far away. the next big thing? we're going to wake the world up. ♪ and watch, with eyes wide, as it gets to work. ♪ cisco. tomorrow starts here.
happening now, the national rifle association refuses to budge despite protests and growing public anger after the connecticut school masser. president obama challenged congress to make a deal. and the the president might not be where he is without his new nominee for secretary of state, john kerry. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
[ bells ringing ] >> this was a day of mourning one week after the connecticut school massacre. and this was the day the national rifle association finally spoke out about the shooting that horrified the nation and so much of the world. no questions were taken, no concessions were made. but there was a new call for armed guards in america's schools, all of them, and a good deal of head scratching when it was all over. cnn's tom foreman is joining us. you were there at that speech. tell our viewers what happened. >> reporter: the speech was really a great coming-out of statements from an association that's been quiet since the shooting in connecticut. many voters are very much aligned with the n.r.a. listen to what they had to say. despite protesters, the president and public opinion
increasingly pushing against the gun lobby, the n.r.a. sent a strong message -- no retreat. >> the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a guy. i call on congress today to act immediately to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every single school in this nation. >> reporter: in a wide-ranging statement, lapierre condemned the violence in connecticut, colorado and other places but steered the blame decisively away from guns or gun law. indeed he lambasted legislators who have put laws into place restricting rules around schools. >> and in doing so, they tell every insane killer in america that schools are the safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk.
>> reporter: despite twice being interrupted by protesters, lapierre went on to ape tack the media for making killers famous in the news and glorifying them in movies and video games. >> a child growing up this america today witnesses 16,000 murders. and 200,000 acts of violence by the time he or she reaches the ripe old age of 18. and does anybody really believe that the next adam lanza isn't planning his attack on a school? he's already identified at this very moment. >> reporter: lapierre announced plans for what he calls a national school shield program to recruit and train volunteers to thwart such attacks. could you answer one question? but details on precisely how that might work remain unclear. for all their statements, n.r.a. officials are still not answering questions.
we're not sure why they wouldn't do it today. the big message was absolutely clear. the n.r.a. is not backing down, not interested in talking about new gun laws. as best i can tell, not afraid in changes of public sentiment and what the president has to say. >> we're hearing a good deal of negative reaction to the n.r.a. statement. a top republican, the new jersey governor, chris christie, says putting armed guards in schools won't be effective. the democratic party chair, congresswoman debbie wasserman schultz, put it in much tougher language a little while ago. >> the n.r.a., i would say that they were tone deaf, but it's beyond that. they're just deaf. they have completely ignored, don't understand, don't grasp how deeply wounded this nation was over the newtown tragedy,
over the tragedies that have collectively built up in our consciousness and that across the spectrum of how people feel about gun rights, that all across that spectrum, people in america want us to come together and solve this problem and make sure that we can in a rational, commonsense way, get weapons of war out of the hands of the average, everyday person who can come into a school and blow away 26 people. >> we also heard from some connecticut gun owners who say they are fed up with the n.r.a. >> i'm very torn at this point. i'm not happy with the n.r.a. i'm not happy with the n.r.a. and i am a gun owner myself. there's just no reason for automatic weapons out there in the public. and clips that discharge so many rounds of ammunition. >> i have many guns. but i don't have a 30-round clip and a semiautomatic weapon. we have a tragedy here. and we have to address it. they're not addressing it.
that's what i tell them. you're not addressing the situation here. >> of course, other gun owners we spoke to defended the n.r.a.'s position in its call to put armed guards in every school in the united states. we'll have much more on this story coming up. we're going back to newtown for some reflections as well, the latest on the investigation. stand by for that. meanwhile, senator john kerry is now officially president obama's choice to succeed hillary clinton as the secretary of state. today's announcement was belief. it was widely expected. senator kerry let the president do all the talking. >> over these many years, john's earned the respect and confidence of leaders around the world. he is not going to need a lot of on-the-job training. he has earned the respect and trust of his senate colleagues, democrats and republicans. i think it's fair to say that few individuals know as many presidents and prime ministers or grasp our foreign policies as firmly as john kerry. and this makes him a perfect
choice to guide american diplomacy in the years ahead. >> kate bolduan is with me, as usual. kate, you're our congressional correspondent. you spent some quality time covering the next secretary of state, if he's confirmed which he presumably will be. >> it's widely expected that he will be kompld. but in terms of a relationship with president obama, he's not considered part of the obama inner circumstance it will though president obama and senator kerry have forged quite a close bond, especially during presidential debate prep this year when kerry played the role of mitt romney. and kerry also played a pretty key role in making barack obama a national name. >> thank you very much, mr. secretary. >> reporter: his senate colleagues have joked about his ambitions, what many regarded as the worst-kept secret in washington. even in recent senate hearings, john kerry already sounded like he was looking ahead to his future job and the anticipated battles over the state department budget with congress.
>> that must change. and in the next session of the congress, i hope it will. >> reporter: he wasn't the president's first choice. u.n. ambassador susan rice took herself out of the running after republican backlash. >> it was unjustified to give the scenario as presented by ambassador rice. >> reporter: senator kerry knows himself about being torpedoed by attacks, accused in his 2004 presidential run of lying about his military record in vietnam. >> john kerry has not been honest about what happened in vietnam. >> reporter: and criticized for his 1971 testimony opposing the vietnam war. >> how do you ask a man to be the last man to die in vietnam? >> reporter: kerry was painted a flip-flopper and out of touch, unable to grasp the struggles of regular americans. but candidate kerry did put president obama then an unknown politician on the national stage
at the democratic convention. >> john kerry believes that in a dangerous world, war must be an option sometimes but it should never be the first option. >> reporter: following the loss, kerry immersed himself in foreign policy. >> we stand adjourned. >> reporter: now the chairman of the senate foreign relations committee, he's been an unofficial envoy for president obama, helping ease tensions with president karzai in afghanistan and helping mend strained relations with pakistan after the killing of osama bin laden. >> we are strategic partners with a common enemy in terrorism and extremism. >> reporter: but kerry's not totally in sync with obama. he had supported limited military intervention in syria, something the president has resisted. over his 30-year career, kerry has built deep relationships with many foreign leaders. >> there are very few people in our country with greater
experience than senator kerry. >> perhaps kerry's biggest challenge is not his confirmation on capitol hill but rather following in hillary clinton's footsteps. she's become one of the most popular officials in the obama cabinet, both here and abroad. and then it becomes the big political fight or at least political interest in who will fill the vacated senate seat of senator john kerry. >> she couldn't go there for the announcement at the white house because she didn't feel well. the n.r.a.'s call for armed guards in schools has many furious right now. senator blumenthal is standing by to join us. and avoiding that fiscal cliff. some millionaires say they're ready to take a hit. >> this country is in a lot of fiscal trouble. and i think it's the obligation of all those that can give and help out the country, we're americans and we should.
welcome to chevy's year-end event. so, the 5.3-liter v8 silverado can tow up to 9,600 pounds? 315 horsepower. what's that in reindeer-power? [ laughs ] [ pencil scratches ] [ male announcer ] chevy's giving more. get the best offer of the year -- 0% apr financing for 60 months plus $1,000 holiday bonus cash. plus trade up for an additional $1,000 trade-in allowance. hurry. bonus cash ends january 2nd.
adt can help you turn on a few lights. access cameras from anywhere to help you keep an eye on things. even bring family in from the cold when you're not there. now get the advanced technology of adt starting at just $99 and save $300. with adt, you get 24/7 fast response monitoring that helps protect you from burglary, fire, and high levels of carbon monoxide. plus remote access to your home. even control your thermostat to help save energy and money. get adt installed starting at just $99. that's a $300 savings. you may even save up to 20% on your homeowners insurance.
senator richard blumenthal of connecticut called today's n.r.a. statement, in his words, sadly, shamefully inadequate. senator blumenthal joins us from capitol hill. senator, thanks for coming in. let me get your reaction to what wayne lapierre of the national rifle association said today. he says, there should be armed police guards in every school in the country to protect our kids. is that a good idea? >> not a good idea if they are volunteers, as he suggests, because he wants to save money by avoiding payment for them. the watchdog dads, not a good idea. but better school security, certainly a very important goal. and it ought to be part of a comprehensive, serious, substantial set of ideas that have the goal of real change, taking the assault weapons off the streets, stopping sales of
them, as well as the high capacity magazines, better background checks, more of them, covering the 40% that right now are completely uncovered in the gun show loophole. and, of course, mental health initiatives. there are set ideas, no single one of them is going to accomplish this goal. but better school security can be part of an overall program, not the vigilante approach that seems to be suggested by the n.r.a. today. >> he did suggest that it would be appropriate for congress to spend some more money, to appropriate funds to beef up security at schools all across the country. i assume you'd be ready to vote in favor of that kind of legislation? >> very much so. better school security that comes from professionals who are trained and equipped, have the expertise and the ability to stop these kind of attacks. but, remember, schools have multiple entrances and exits, multiple ways for killers to blast their way into schools as happened in newtown.
and the high velocity magazines that have 30 rounds apiece and perhaps multiple use of them will enable a killer to possibly overwhelm even the best security guard, even the best armored and armed. so we need to think beyond school security and launch a program that really accomplishes effective change. and i'm afraid that the n.r.a. has proved that it's not a credible or constructive partner in this, by only focusing on this one solution and saying it is the only acceptable solution. >> senator, when the president visited newtown, connecticut, he was really talking about the need for stronger gun control measures. have you spoken with him personally since his visit to connecticut about his gun control measures? what have you told him? >> i've spoken to the vice president about the potential vet of proposals and indicated my strong support for the
proactive and aggressive stance that the president's taken. i talked to the president just before as he arrived at the high school in newtown. and i think the president have very determined. but we should be very clear. it will take a sustained effort and it will take all of america standing up and speaking out as they have done in the past week and the kind of letters and calls that i received just within the last few hours, the n.r.a. does not speak for us. i'm an n.r.a. member. i'm a hunter. the n.r.a. is not speaking for me. that kind of really sustained effort has to be part of it. and, again, i think the n.r.a. in its present approach is making its largely irrelevant. >> senator, let me ask you about the investigation. what are you hearing the latest is from the connecticut state police in terms of their investigation? what more they're learning about adam lanza and possibly why he went about this horrific, horrific tragedy?
>> this investigation is making progress. i think that's the most -- or the best i can say right now because i've been briefed on it. but i don't think i can say much more at this point. we may never have a fully adequate or complete explanation of what the motives were, what went wrong in adam lanza's head that resulted in such an inhumane, brutal, absolutely horrific kind of criminal act. but i think the state is finishing this period of mourning and very determined that we will honor the memory of these beautiful children and the very heroic professionals who sought to stop the killing by placing themselves in between the killer and their children, by moving forward and making america safer. >> so many of our viewers here
in the united states and around the world, senator, would like to do something to help your constituents in newtown, connecticut. is there anything specific you would recommend that they do? what do the folks there really need? >> they need support in thoughts and letters, prayers. but also there are donations that can be made to community organizations and charities. i'm pleased to say that i've called for an end to the transaction fees and processing charges that are often applied or imposed in connection with donations to, for example, the united way, the newtown savings bank that are planning to provide supportive work for the families and of course cover some of the funeral expenses, i understand. but, really, the thoughts and support for measures that will accomplish real change, i think, is one good way to honor the memory of these innocent victims
and the more support we receive, the more congressmen hear from their constituents, the stronger we will be in accomplishing these goals. >> senator richard blumenthal of connecticut, senator, thanks very much for coming in. our heart goes to out everyone in connecticut, so many people have suffered. we appreciate your joining us. >> thank you. we'll take a quick break. much more from newtown. much more on the n.r.a.'s proposal to put guns in every american school when we come back. t a thing at all? it's lots of things. all waking up. ♪ becoming part of the global phenomenon we call the internet of everything. ♪ trees will talk to networks will talk to scientists about climate change. cars will talk to road sensors will talk to stoplights about traffic efficiency. the ambulance will talk to patient records will talk to doctors about saving lives.
vacation to hawaii. >> in ten days, we face a deadline, in ten days under current law, tax rates are scheduled to rise on most americans. and even though democrats and republicans are arguing about whether those rates should go up for the wealthiest individuals, all of us, peevery single one o us agrees that tax rates shouldn't go up for the other 98% of americans, which includes 97% of small businesses. every member of congress believes that, every democrat, every republican. so there is absolutely no reason, none, not to protect these americans from a tax hike. >> let's bring in our chief white house correspondent, jessica yellin, and our senior congressional correspondent dana bash. jessica, the president said he's a hopeless optimist, still thinks we can get this done.
tell us why he believes that? >> reporter: wolf, he has -- it's because he's proposed something here that's significantly smaller than what he originally outlined to speaker boehner. it's both a policy shift, something that is a scaled-down version that could get the u.s. through the new year, something that could pass in the next ten days. and also a shift of responsibility now, saying it's up to capitol hill to get something done and that it's really on their shoulders at this point. the president making this clear right before he gets on board o plane. he's now going to be taking off for hawaii and his christmas break within the hour. the white house has just announced that he is going to hawaii with his family for -- they didn't say when he will be coming home. but he made it clear he'll see us next week. so at some point he'll be back here to finish negotiating this deal and so we get a few days of rest. and then i guess it's back to the drawingboard. >> let's bring dana bash into the conversation.
dana, the presidents in his statement urged -- he said it's up to congressional republicans and democrats to pass this scal scaled-down package, if you will. what are the chances? >> reporter: still very hard to see it happening, kate. as you well know, it is difficult to get anything done in a bipartisan way and it was illustrated very clearly how hard it is going to be to get republicans, even just to pick off a few republicans in the senate, maybe seven or eight, which is what they'll need and about 30 in the house for any kind of tax increase. it's possible but it is going to be very, very difficult. the speaker, through a spokesman, released a statement saying that from his point of view, when the two of them spoke, he spoke with the president, the president mentioned that as well, he told the president, it is now up to the senate to act. but the speaker, too, is going to be back right after the holidays. so maybe there could be some kind of christmas miracle between the two of them. >> always believe in miracles. guys, thank you. thanks very much. those of us who spent time in newtown, connecticut, this week will forever be changed. kate and i had a chance to speak
with dr. sanjay gupta about what happened. stand by. to dream about that steak. i'm going to dream about that tiramisu. what a night, huh? but, um, can the test drive be over now? head back to the dealership? [ male announcer ] it's practically yours. but we still need your signature. volkswagen sign then drive is back. and it's never been easier to get a passat. that's the power of german engineering. get $0 down, $0 due at signing, $0 deposit, and $0 first month's payment on any new volkswagen. visit vwdealer.com today. [ nyquil bottle ] just reading your label. wait...you relieve nasal congestion? sure don't you? [ nyquil bottle ] dude! [ female announcer ] tylenol® cold multi-symptom nighttime relieves nasal congestion. nyquil® cold and flu doesn't. nature valley granola thins pack the big taste of granola and dark chocolate into one perfect square, under 100 calories. nature valley granola thins.
stop! stop! stop! come back here! humans -- we are beautifully imperfect creatures living in an imperfect world. that's why liberty mutual insurance has your back with great ideas like our optional better car replacement. if your car is totaled, we give you the money to buy one a model year newer. call... and ask one of our insurance experts about it today. hello?! we believe our customers do their best out there in the world, and we do everything we can to be there for them when they need us. [car alarm blaring] call now and also ask about our 24/7 support and service. call... and lock in your rate for 12 months today. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility.
what's your policy? ♪ it's been an unimaginable week of pain and suffering, not just in newtown, connecticut, but all across the country. many of us saw it firsthand. let's talk about what we saw. joining me now, our kate bolduan, she was in newtown, as well as our chief medical correspondent, dr. sanjay gupta. both had a chance to see what was going on. kate, let me talk with you. is there a moment that really stands out in your mind, something you'll never forget? >> i think you and i both will never forget just the sense in the community when we were there, the sense of grief and despair that was just everywhere, everywhere you went. beyond that, the moment that i will never forget is sitting down with the likata family. their 6-year-old son was in
victoria soto's clam. victoria was shot and killed by the gunman along with students in that classroom. when i sat down with robert and diane, we talked about many things. but one of the things that really struck me was how they said how difficult it was going to be to break the news to aden that their teacher was not coming back. >> he keeps asking about her. and i think he's reassuring himself that she's going to be okay. he really, really cared about his teacher. he was very close with her. and she really loved that class. and he keeps saying, i really hope she's okay. i hope it's not her. he knows that she's been hurt but he doesn't know the end result. he knows the kids that he saw getting shot. he doesn't know the outcome. so i think he's reassuring himself in his 6-year-old mind, i know he's processing it.
but i think he's reassuring himself. i think he's telling himself that it's going to be okay. >> and beyond that, wolf, i not only spent time with robert and diane, i had the chance to spend some time with aden as well as his older sister who's also a student at sandy hook. and just seeing young aden, 6 years old, acting like a 6-year-old, wearing his pajamas, watching cartoons, even showing off his kung fu moves to me that saturday morning, just 24 hours after this had happened. it just struck me that not only that he's just 6 years old but then to think of the horror that he witnessed and also how incomprehensible it is that there are so many kids his age that are gone now. >> it's a shocking situation. sanjay, you were powerfully moved by robbie parker, the father who lost his little 6-year-old daughter, emilie parker. we saw him on television saturday night. let me play a little clip.
>> she was the type of person that could just light up a room. she always had something kind to say about anybody. and her love and the strength that she gave us and the example that she showed to us a remarkable. she is an incredible person, and i'm so blessed to be her dad. >> what a beautiful little girl. sanjay, i know you have daughters around the same age. and you were moved really strongly by what we heard. >> yeah, just still so painful to watch. and to hear robbie, it's that viscer visceral, gut-wrenching pain. it's tough. i think anybody who has kids, people always ask, do you think
about your own kids in situations like this? of course you do. but i think there was a couple of things in particular. one is this whole notion -- the way he was describing emilie, i've probably used some of those same ways to describe my own daughters. and i think there was nothing in their world context that could explain to them what was happening when this tragedy unfolded. i know if it was my daughters, they would probably be curious about this guy and want to say hello. and for some reason, that is so particularly heartbreaking. and i think also this idea that it's not so much that you're thinking about your own kids. when you go to a town like newtown, connecticut, and you were there, you saw how small the community is, everyone knows each other, they all take care of each other, it's not so much that you're thinking about others' kids, they are your kids. in the town of newtown, they are everybody's kids. that's what i've been thinking about quite a bit over the last few days. >> i'm thinking also about that makeshift memorials that sprung up all over newtown, especially
the memorials that had little angels. >> yeah. >> on them. when we think of those 20 kids, those 20 angels, just walking down the street, and we've got some pictures there. >> right there. and so many things leave an impression on us, on everyone, from this horrific tragedy. but what other moments stuck with you? >> what else stuck in my mind was when i met some of the clergy who had been at that firehouse where all the parents had shown up because they heard there was something going on at the school. so they came to the firehouse. the police directed them there. that's where they got word that their little kids were okay. they came out right down the street. but there were 20 sets of parents that got really horrible news. when i spoke with rabbi praver who's a rabbi in newtown, he and described what it was like when these parents got the horrible news. is there one moment yesterday when you were in firehouse with these families that stands out
that you'll never forget in your life. >> yeah. unshakable images. that's when the news came from the governor that the children did not make it and the wailing of the parents and just sort of the groping and trying to reach for something intangible. it was horrific, terrible scene. >> sanjay, you can only imagine when he talks about the wailing, the groping, what was going on in that firehouse. how are these people going to cope in the years to come? >> losing a child is such an unnatural thing. you don't ever expect to bury your own children. so i don't know that they can ever fully recover from this. there have been -- there's been lots of studies. we've talked about some of this with regard to how long posttraumatic stress, for example, lasts. and for example, in people who have seen violence or been exposed to it so closely, even months, years later, significant
percentage, up to 77% three months later had diagnosable posttraumatic stress. so this isn't going to go away anytime soon. there's also something else, wolf. we see this after other tragedies. but there's this period now where there is a lot of support. there's a lot of media attention, family and friends have all come together. but it doesn't last forever. so after a while, these people -- they're going through this period now a little bit numb with all the support. but over a few months or a few weeks, even, it starts to go away. that's a good reminder for people who want to continue to give support to newtown. >> sanjay, thanks for your reporting this week. kate, thank you as well. i don't think any of us will ever be the same after what we experienced and certainly the people in newtown, connecticut, will never be the same either. as the people of newtown mark one week since the school massacre, our own anderson cooper is there for us. anderson, you've been around the world. you've covered some of the worst
tragedies in recent decades. what are you taking away from this situation, from this horrible tragedy in newtown? >> i guess two things. one, this ises the one-week anniversary and a lot of people who are watching this think this is something that happened a week ago here in newtown. but this is something that is happening again every single day. they are going to wakes and funerals every day. five funerals just today. and just the horror of that, day after day, going to 20 children's funerals. going to the funerals of six adults. and it is -- how do you ufen figure out where to go and organizing how to get from one funeral to a wake. it's an ongoing horror here in newtown for this town. i think sanjay made a really important point. that often adrenaline sort of
carries -- i talked to a number of family who have lost children in the last couple of days. adrenaline carries them for the first couple of days and planning the funeral and planning the wake and they're surrounded by support and by family members and by friends. but over time, a week or two goes by and the rest of the world continues to spin and their world feels like it's frozen. and i think that's -- already i think many in this town are preparing for that, to be there for these families once attention goes elsewhere and once people from out of town leave and people return to their normal lives. these families are not going to be able to return to a normal life. their lives will be forever changed. and i think -- i talked to one priest and a number of people here who already are trying to plan for that and continue to offer these families support and attention and love at a time when they will need it most. >> anderson, you're live from newtown once again this evening.
give our viewers a preview of what you have coming up on the show. >> we continue to honor the lives that were lost, the five funerals that took place today, three children, two adults. one of the kids, grace mcdonnell, we interviewed lynn and chris mcdonnell a couple of nights ago. so we're going to tell you about the five people who were laid to rest today, a celebration of their life, really. we're also going to talk to a local -- the senator, former congressman from newtown who's outraged at the n.r.a. press conference. you'll hear his very strong remarks about what wayne lapierre from the n.r.a. had to say today, the plans that the n.r.a. put forward and what he thinks of them and what a lot of people here, frankly, in newtown feel about them. and there is a growing sense of -- from a lot of family members, i think, of wanting to have something come out of this, of wanting to do something.
grace mcdonnell's mother, lynn, talked about that she now feels fearless and she will never feel as much pain as she has felt this last week and last friday. and she now feels fearless and she is going to try to effect change and move forward in life with the strength that her daughter showed. i think you're hearing that from a lot of the parents. we'll talk about that tonight and just a lot more of the sights and sounds from newtown. >> anderson, 8:00 p.m. eastern, "a.c. 360" live from newtown. we'll be watching, of course, anderson. thanks very much for all the excellent reporting and the work that you've done this week and that you do every day here on cnn. this is a horrible story for all of us to cover. >> as anderson said, we'll continue to honor those lives that were lost and the families who continue to suffer through this tragedy. we'll have much more. >> right after this. tell them it's like being nestled in an eight-way, adjustable, heated and ventilated seat
surrounded by a 500-watt sound system while floating on a suspension made of billowy clouds. or you could just hand them your keys. ♪ ♪ i have a cold, and i took nyquil, but i'm still "stubbed" up. [ male announcer ] truth is, nyquil doesn't unstuff your nose. what? [ male announcer ] it doesn't have a decongestant. no way. [ male announcer ] sorry. alka-seltzer plus fights your worst cold symptoms plus has a fast acting decongestant to relieve your stuffy nose. [ sighs ] thanks! [ male announcer ] you're welcome. that's the cold truth! [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus. ♪ oh what a relief it is! ♪ [ male announcer ] to learn more about the cold truth and save $1 visit alka-seltzer on facebook. [ male announcer ] to learn more about the cold truth to the best vacation sp(all) the gulf! it doesn't matter which of our great states folks visit. mississippi,
alabama, louisiana or florida, they're gonna love it. shaul, your alabama hospitality is incredible. thanks, karen. love your mississippi outdoors. i vote for your florida beaches, dawn. bill, this louisiana seafood is delicious. we're having such a great year on the gulf, we've decided to put aside our rivalry. now is the perfect time to visit anyone of our states. the beaches and waters couldn't be more beautiful. take a boat ride, go fishing or just lay in the sun. we've got coastline to explore and wildlife to photograph. and there's world class dining with our world famous seafood. so for a great vacation this year, come to the gulf. its all fabulous but i give florida the edge. right after mississippi. you mean alabama. say louisiana or there's no dessert. this invitation is brought to you by bp and all of us who call the gulf home.
up. >> we have lisa sylvester here to explain what's going on. >> we are hearing lots of calls for raising taxes on the rich. i sat down with one man who is a mega millionaire. he's definitely part of the 1%. and he shares his thoughts on what he would do to solve the fiscal crisis. and it does include tax increases on the wealthy. the question is who is considered rich? house speaker john boehner pushed for tax hikes for those making $1 million or more. president obama is drawing the line at incomes of $400,000 or higher. >> you can afford to pay a little bit more. you're not too strapped. >> reporter: earl mcfalls, well within the range of wealthy as a multimillionaire. he agrees millionaire earners should see taxes rise. >> this country is in a lot of fiscal trouble. and i think it's the obligation of all those that can give and
help out the country, we're americans and we should. and it's our heritage. >> reporter: earl, who is a former u.s. ambassador to finland, says the rich could chip in in other areas. he made his fortune in real estate development and investment. he says leave the capital gains tax alone because that encourages business development. but he says the dividends tax rate should be raised back to 25%. and says congress should close tax loopholes on luxury items like jets and yachts. he says it's time to touch entitlements. he believes there should be means testing that cuts off the mega rich from government health programs like medicare. and even though it may be unpopular, he says, you have to reform social security. >> they say a child born today could live to 100. you, if you just follow the averages, your life span has
increased in the last decade a couple of years. so i think you've got to raise that age for people, let's say, that are under 50. >> reporter: but the one area he's adamant should not be touched is charitable deductions that encourage the wealthy to give. he's not alone. the richest of the rich, they're the ones who also give the most. >> we know if you take the large pie of approximately $300 billion that was given away last year, including corporate giving, roughly two-thirds of that was given by individuals. half of that was given by the 1%. >> reporter: he said congress should negotiate and compromise but by december 31st they need to get a deal done. he says if congress fails to act, that could really hurt the economy. the u.s. could be pushed into a recession. even as we get closer to the fiscal cliff, many companies
have stopped hiring and investors are pulling back. >> they want to know what's going on and we don't know. >> so much uncertainty. >> right. and the absence of certainty, what do investors do? not anything. they sit on the sidelines. >> they don't really have confidence, the past couple of years, of congress actually getting together and getting a deal done, or especially a grand bargain. >> i think there's a reason. >> exactly. >> lisa, thank you. still ahead, more on the ceremonies marking one week since the newtown school massacre. i know. i'm will,
and this is the nokia lumia 920 from at&t. it's got live tiles so all my stuff's always right there in real-time. it's like the ultimate personal assistant. but i'm me, and me needs handlers. so i hired todd to handle it for me. todd, gimme that hollywood news! what's happening on twitter? you're trending! yes! you can't have a todd, but you can have your own personal assistant. i guess you could call it todd. [ male announcer ] the new nokia lumia 920 with live tiles that deliver what you want in real time. only from at&t. rethink possible.
before newtown victims were laid to rest today. three children and two teachers. we want to honor them rate now. grace mcdonnell was always smiling. she loved her dog puddi f' and was described as a girlie girl. olivia madden laughed a lot. dylan hockley had dimples and the a mischievous grin. he loved movies and trampoline. rachel's boyfriend was about to propose. he recently asked her parents for their blessing.
mary sherlock was looking forward to retirement. the school psychologist worked at sandy hook for two decades. >> dawn hochsprung, principal. mary sherlach, school psychologist. victoria soto, teacher. ann marie murphy, special education teacher. lauren rousseau, teacher. rachel davino, behavioral thermometer. charlotte bacon, 6 years old. daniel barden, age 7.
allison wyatt, age 6. creamy cheese... 100 calories... [ chef ] ma'am [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. it's lots of things. all waking up. nnecting to the global phenomenon we call the internet of everything. ♪ it's going to be amazing. and exciting. and maybe, most remarkably, not that far away. we're going to wake the world up. and watch, with eyes wide, as it gets to work. cisco. tomorrow starts here. i get congested. but now, with zyrtec-d®, i have the proven allergy relief of zyrtec®, plus a powerful decongestant.
zyrtec-d® lets me breath freer, so i can love the air. [ male announcer ] zyrtec-d®. behind the pharmacy counter. no prescription needed. ♪ ooh baby, can i do for you today? ♪ [ female announcer ] need help keeping your digestive balance? align can help. only align has bifantis, a patented probiotic that naturally helps maintain your digestive balance. try align to help retain a balanced digestive system.
try the #1 gastroenterologist recommended probiotic. align. humans -- sometimes life trips us up. and sometimes, we trip ourselves up, but that's okay. at liberty mutual insurance we can "untrip" you as you go through your life with personalized policies and discounts when you need them most. just call... and speak with a licensed representative about saving on your policy when you get married, move into a new house... [crash!] or add a car to your policy. don't forget to ask about saving up to 10% when you combine your auto and home insurance with liberty mutual. security, coverage, and savings. all the things humans need to make our beautifully imperfect world a little less imperfect. call...